SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity)
SAFE uses the same fundamentals as a convertible note but has a few key differences. Created by Silicon Valley's Y-Combinator business accelerator, a SAFE simplifies the process of early-stage funding. SAFEs are forms of convertible equity that have no maturity date or accruing interest unless so negotiated. This means that, while Convertible Notes are a form of debt financing, a SAFE is simply a future equity acquisition. Usually, the terms of a SAFE are settled so that investors' contributions are shielded by a stop date. Same as for convertible notes, a SAFE allows investments to convert into equity when an event triggers. Trigger events could be a subsequent financing round or a company exit, most commonly through the sale of the business. A SAFE still allows investors to benefit from valuation caps and a discount rate, compared to the newer shareholders investing in a later round.